Wednesday, 31 August 2022

The End of Summer...


Hello again!

After the excitement of the rain on Tuesday there was no more. I went for a swim at 8 pm and swam 40 lengths. It really doesn't suit me going in the evening. Still, the school holidays will be almost over by the time you're reading this post and things will go back to normal; swimming on Thursday and Sunday mornings. It was overcast but warm on Wednesday with a nice breeze. I had quite a few errands to run in town and did all those in the morning. I then went to Aldi to do part of the weekly shop. I was delighted to find they had, after a gap of several months, restocked my favourite night cream (Lacura Caviar night cream) and I bought two pots in case they run out of them again. Rain had been forecast for the whole day but we saw none. I wanted to walk with my group who were going to walk in Woburn but the rainy forecast put me off; I should have ignored it!

I wanted to show you the Ted Baker linen shirt I bought at Barnardo's on Monday and planned to wear it with these retail sale Sainsbury's trousers which I seem to have had  forever; Country Casuals striped tee which was a charity shop find and my retail white pumps. However, it didn't look right so I opted to wear this linen blazer from M&S instead which was a charity shop find in 2021. The shirt wasn't the right shape somehow and might look better over a dress or with a different style of trouser. All jewellery was charity shopped. I often find outfits that look great in my head don't always look that great once they're on!

I spent what was left of  Wednesday catching up with blog land and finishing my book about an Irish navvy in 1950s London before cooking dinner. The one thing about this warm/hot/boiling hot weather we'd been having was how marvellous it was to put out a wash and have it all dry within a couple of hours! I seem to do at least a wash a day now but no complaints about getting it dry.

Thursday's outfit was another outfit that didn't go to plan. I planned to wear the pink/green/yellow patterned dress I bought recently from The Children's Society HERE over these pink linen trousers from Next and tee shirt -  but again it didn't look right. Instead, I wore this cotton kimono by Top shop with green Hotter shoes; all charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which must be more than twenty years old and bought from Accessorize when it first opened in Bedford. Of course it's long gone...


It began to get very warm on Thursday and by the afternoon the sun was shining. I did the Lidl shopping and went for a rummage later in the day. I bought a Nomads cotton dress in the Daycare Hospice shop which might come in useful for the next heatwave that had been predicted for the end of August and a necklace. In The Children's Society I found an orange cross body bag and would you believe another necklace! More reading and cooking when I got home and in the evening we finished watching 'Hide and Seek'. A very good series although the scenery and lighting was very bleak and gloomy and I longed for some colour and brightness in places!

When I woke up on Friday morning it had rained extensively in the night. The ground was very wet and I lay in bed listening to the sound of car tyres hissing on the wet road. I got up soon after and after having breakfast and getting ready I went for 5.8 mile walk along the river to Great Denham. On my return I went into to town to the Halal butchers; bought daughter-in-law a birthday card and popped into Tesco metro for eggs which I'd forgotten on Thursday. It was a lovely sunny day.

I wore this Masai tunic/dress over Primarni leggings and Birkenstocks as before. Both the top and the leggings were charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped; the necklace picked up the Daycare Hospice shop on my visit there yesterday; the earrings were a present from daughter-in-law years ago. I made them a bit shorter as they had an extra section which I wasn't keen on.

In the garden there were still quite a lot of flowers but the nasturtiums and agapanthus were finished so I cut them back when I did my tour of the garden on Friday morning. As usual the begonias gave us a marvellous display and have lasted throughout the summer. The geraniums did well and continued to flower. The nicotiana were still in flower as well as the purple and the white calibrachoa. I bought some potted lisianthus in Lidl last week but it was doing what the one we had last year did; the flowers were shrivelling away. I kept it in the shade out of the hot sun but it didn't make a bit of difference. I must remember not to buy any again next year but I did buy a bunch of cut purple lisianthus for a vase this week. The asters continued to bloom; there were second shows of a couple of roses; including a rose I picked up from a Facebook group locally. Our busy lizzies were still flowering. It seemed to take ages for them to flower but once they did they really last.  A white poppy we'd bought bloomed and then quickly died but another one soon came out; the first poppies we've ever had. We still have salvias, marigolds, dianthus, galliarda, fuchsia, coreopsis and heleniums in flower.

This was one of the half price plants OH bought a few weeks back. This one is Larkspur another name for Delphinium. It's doing well as you can see. I also discovered another plant growing from a crack between the paving stones with tiny purple buds. Not sure what it is yet but I shall be keeping my eye on it...updated to say it's a weed called 'Bittersweet Nightshade'. Related to 'Deadly Nightshade' and also poisonous if eaten.  Most probably seeded from a bird's dropping given its location..It is pretty and I shall leave it for a while and see what happens; there's only one flower on it at the moment.

 I wished my planted Lisianthius  looked like this!

Another lovely bright sunny day on a Saturday with a good breeze. I set out for a walk just after 8 am and walked from Queen's Park to Kempston Mill along the river 6.8 miles in total. I wanted to walk to the mill because last year a new bridge was erected over the river; re-opening up a footpath on the other side of the river that had been inaccessible since before lock down began. It was a lovely walk but in the first half there was some sort of a race or fun run on and there were dozens of people huffing and puffing past; some ran with buggies or even dogs on a lead. It took about 10 minutes before everyone passed me and then were a few stragglers.

On my walk I wore this outfit plus my 'new to me' walking sandals which were very comfortable. The Nomads dress was picked up at the Daycare Hospice shop last week; clogs by Seasalt; leggings and denim jacket all charity shopped. All jewellery charity shopped. The orange cross body bag was found on Thursday afternoon in The Children's Society. I gave my son a lift and when I got back OH and I went for a small rummage in Sandy where neither of us had been for a few months. OH did very well; I bought a new fold up shopping bag that fits in my handbag! The one I'd been using was fraying at the handles and I'd been looking out for a replacement. There are only 4 charity shops in Sandy so we were on our way back after less than hour. In the evening I finished my book and we started watching a drama called 'Wasteland' set in Czechia.

I couldn't be bothered  to think of an outfit on Sunday and as it was a warm day I opted to wear my pink Kaftan. I found this in the Willen Hospice shop in Olney on a rummage with OH a while ago and I fell for the colour and pattern. I wish it had more of a shape and then I'd wear it as a dress. I wore it to the swimming pool where I went for the usual Sunday morning swim and swam a mile. The kaftan by Deepa was probably sold in holiday resorts in Europe for tourists to wear. This one was BNWT and cost 5.00.  Beads and earrings also charity shopped.

I looked up where my group was walking on Wednesday and would you believe it there was no Wednesday walk. There was what looked like a really good walk from Hertford, Herts on Tuesday but I'd be at the food bank so wouldn't be able to make it.  I shall just have to go and recce the walk I'm leading on the 21st September and pray it's not too hot a day...

Warm and sunny (24 degrees) for much of the day on Monday. We had donation after donation and I spent all morning processing them. I wore this Mandy Marsh vintage 1980s dress bought from Sue Ryder a few years ago. I wore it with an M&S linen jacket; charity shopped recently and charity shopped pumps. All jewellery charity shopped.

I took a present and some flowers round to daughter-in-law after volunteering and then after some lunch and hanging out a a whites wash; I took my daughter and her partner to Luton Airport where they were off to Porto in Portugal for a few days. By the time I got back it was time to make dinner. There were a lot of potatoes and vegetables left over from the Sunday roast so I made bubble and squeak with those and OH had cold chicken with his. I enjoyed mine; it's years since I'd eaten bubble and squeak...

There was plenty to do at the food bank on Tuesday and I didn't finish early. After making up food parcels I then topped up the hygiene bags so there would be enough to last until the end of the week. I checked out the damson situation with Lynne who told me she had found an unwanted damson tree on her allotments and would be bring me some when they're ripe. I'll get to make that damson jam yet...

I haven't been wearing many of my linen tops so decided to rectify that on Tuesday. This one by M&S was charity shopped years ago. Trousers by Joules; Clarks; Mary Jane shoes; both charity shopped as was all the jewellery. The necklace was picked up last week at the Children's Society.

In the afternoon I went to Aldi and then into town to run some errands including picking up some reservations from the library. A very warm and humid day saved by the occasional cooling breeze. The washing I hung out when I got back from the food bank was dry by the time I came back from town. I caught up with blog land and continued reading my book before making dinner. We have really got into the Czechia drama 'Wasteland'. It's what OH calls a slow burner...

Wednesday was a cool day to start with but soon heated up bringing humidity with it. I went to get my eyebrows done in the morning and decided to have a pedicure whilst I was there. It must be 20 years since I last had a pedicure. This one was a spa pedicure and my feet were soaked; pummelled; massaged; relieved of dry hard skin; moisturised; nails shaped and painted. It was bliss. Home made harem pants (not by me) top by Papaya; both charity shopped and all jewellery, too.


I finished my book in the afternoon and started on the first of my library reservations; a rural trilogy set in Suffolk and written by Adrian Bell (father of the independent MP and broadcaster Martin Bell). I came to the trilogy through 'Slightly Foxed' magazine and podcast HERE. OH bought me a subscription for part of this year's Christmas present.

I woke up to a dark and very wet morning on Thursday. It was raining heavily and you could almost hear the garden groan with thankfulness. I had to revise my plan to recce my Rambler's walk as the rain was torrential so went to do the Lidl weekly shop a bit earlier than usual. I bought some pots of small chrysanthemums as the Bidens in one of the window boxes was finished. It wasn't a cold day at all so I wore this outfit:

Trousers by Papaya and thick cotton Chinese style top; both charity shopped from Barnardo's. Shoes by Clarks and bag also charity shopped and all jewellery.

I made some flapjacks after I'd put the shopping away as I fancied some.
The rain continued for most of the day only easing off in the evening about 7 ish.

Friday was warm and sunny. The best light is in the kitchen hence so many photos with my cooker in the background. I remember buying this Kushi skirt in a charity shop but not which one; I've had it for several years and I try to get at least one wear a year out of it. It's not the easiest garment to find something to go with, though. I opted for this charity shopped orange tee shirt and the white sandals which I think came via The Cat's Protection League. All jewellery charity shopped with the necklace being another of last week's finds...

I went into town to collect my new glasses and a reservation from the library. Unfortunately one of the glasses wasn't right. The frame was correct but it had metal 'arms' and I don't like metal arms on my glasses. I'm sure I would have noticed the metal arms when I was initially choosing my two pairs. In the event they allowed me to choose another pair and they will be posted out to me within a fortnight. I now have a dark green pair and the pair that's to arrive has a speckled frame. Perhaps now I'll be able to focus on the small print in my new glasses without resorting to a magnifying glass...

I finally set out on my delayed walk from Wednesday. I decided to recce the walk I'll lead on 21st September for the Ramblers. It was 9.3 miles - far too long; although I should have taken a different route at the beginning. Then to make matters worse, when I got to one of the bridle paths which takes up about 1.5 to 2 miles of the planned walk; it had been closed off from 8th August for 6 months! I was very hot and had walked about 5 miles by this point so I shimmied round the steel barrier to the bridleway and was then confronted with more steel barriers further along. Undaunted I veered left onto one of the campsites of the Twinwoods Vintage Festival which was being held this bank holiday weekend; and climbed over the fence to get back onto the bridleway. I can't do that with 30 odd walkers in tow on the day however so will have to find another walk. Luckily I have one in mind already and will recce it soon.

The top photo was taken just as I illegally climbed over the fence...

As I was walking along the road to get to the bridle path there was a stream of cars pulling caravans and camper vans driving up the private road up to the camp sitesApparently, it's the 21st anniversary of the Twinwoods Festival which is described as 'the ultimate vintage festival for music and dance'. You can read more about it HERE if you're interested. I looked online when I got home and it was sold out! I didn't know a single one of the acts performing. Maybe for a change I'm too young? Twinwoods is famous as the airfield where Glenn Miller took off from in 1944 and was never seen again. The control tower is still in situ and a good landmark when I'm out walking in that area. There is a museum dedicated to Glenn Miller at Twinwoods, too.

Didn't bother with outfit photos on Saturday- it was a lazy sort of day. I wore a pink maxi skirt with a red tee shirt and short sleeved pink, red and orange checked shirt all charity shopped. A warm and pleasant day. I did very little but read, did a wash and hung it out and pottered about in the garden. Our fig tree has a fig!

I contemplated a walk but my foot although not sore was giving me the occasional twinge; I didn't want to make it any worse so gave it a rest. We spent the evening watching 3 episodes of 'Wasteland'. A thoroughly gripping series and now the series has reached spring time there is colour and less gloom. That's the thing with a lot of the international TV series; they are shot in very subdued almost murky lighting and often feature barren landscapes and very dark narratives - no wonder they're called '......Noir'!

 I  did my usual Sunday morning swim of 1 mile. There were fewer people in the pool probably because it was a bank holiday weekend. Everything charity shopped except the tee shirt. One of my sandals fell apart later on in the day. OH has tried to glue it back and it is clamped and waiting for the glue to dry and set. Trousers by Next and the green linen shirt was from the 1.00 rail in Barnardo's.

 These are one of the new pairs of glasses; they are green but don't look it in this photo.

All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings made by a Donegal jewellery maker and sold in one of the local gift shops. I've missed going to Ireland this summer but I've also really enjoyed the lovely summer we'd been having. I've noticed the nights are drawing in now so Autumn will soon be here. 

Even though Monday was a bank holiday Barnardo's always opens on bank holidays. I set off for the usual time only to find it wasn't open. After a flurry of text messages I was told the shop would open at 10 am. Luckily the shop isn't too far from Lidl and as I'd made a shopping list for the week I went there to pick up some of the items on my list. I was horrified to find that the usual olive oil I buy had gone up from 2.29 to 3.49! I've noticed items going up by 20 p to 25 p but not this much...

I wore these striped trousers which I'd bought the previous week from Barnardo's. The top is by Marimekko also from Barnardo's. The kimono was a present from my daughter about 7 years ago and by Papaya. White Clark's Mary Jane shoes also charity shopped; as was all jewellery. I spent the morning processing items as fast as I could to clear the mound of bags in the back room. Of course I bought things; including a really useful set of shelf dividers, a ceramic plant pot for the garden; a green cotton maxi skirt and a 'Sunday' green and blue kaftan to add to my collection. Once home and after hanging up a wash and washing the kitchen floor I prepared and made dinner. In the evening I finished the second book in the trilogy I was reading and we watched the final episode of 'Wasteland'. Highly recommended.

This was the skirt by 'Rebellion again' (never heard of them) I bought at Barnardo's on Monday and I teamed it with this M&S top. Shoes also charity shopped and all jewellery; except the earrings which were a Sainsbury's purchase many years ago. I'd wear a more fitted top the next time I wear this skirt.  I also realised later that I could have worn my teal coloured Vans pumps with this outfit - never mind, next time! Youngest grandson came to dinner and for an overnight stay. Only a week to go and he and the middle grandson will be back at school and college - how the summer holidays have flown...

Back to the food bank and back to making up of hygiene bags on Tuesday - hurray!  My colleague is back from grandma duties and back making up food parcels - thank goodness.  I made up 50 hygiene bags to last the week but we ran out of washing up liquid and shampoo before by the final few. Lynne brought me a bag of damsons which I shared with my daughter.  There are more to come so the jam will get made...I went to see my daughter after the food bank and to catch up with her; she'd been to Portugal and on Monday went to the Notting Hill carnival. 

I'm back walking with my group tomorrow walking in Barton Hills so there'll be a bit of climbing. It's going to be a good day and I'm very much looking forward to it. See you in a fortnight....

Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...